Thousands of Muslims mark Eid al-Adh at The Mubarak Mosque in Farnham

Thousands of Muslims have been celebrating one of the most important events in the religion’s calendar, at a mosque near Farnham in Surrey. Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, has been marked at The Mubarak Mosque by families who’ve come together for prayer and celebration. The event commemorates the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, the Prophet Ishmael, in the name of god.

Children take a day off school and many adults take a day off work on the second of two Eid celebrations in Islam. One follows Ramadan, the month of fasting, while the one being celebrated today follows the completion of Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca. An animal is sacrificed with a third going to the less fortunate, another third goes to the individual’s friends and family while the remaining third can then be consumed by themselves.

Imam, Farhad Ahmad said, “It’s an extremely important. You wear your best clothes. Children take time off school, people take time off work, you come early morning to the Mosque to pray. “It’s a day to spend with family enjoying each other’s company. “My family, we are sacrificing an animal in Africa so it helps people there, sometimes people haven’t had meat for a whole year so this is the first time they probably get to have meat.”

The occasion also sees an additional opportunity for prayer, on top of the five that Muslims would normally practice. Women and children have been given dedicated an area so they can pray and listen to the sermon being delivered, with 3,000 spaces made available. Dr Qurratul-ain Rehman, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association, explains why the day is so important, “It reminds us of the sacrifice that Prophet Abraham and his son, Prophet Ishmael said. “All these true stories are there to remind us as Muslims that we have a purpose in life. “One is to follow the commandments and our duty god but secondly, and more importantly, is our duties to our fellow human beings.

“This is what this Eid reminds us of. How we have to share our happiness with those who are less fortunate than us and we also remember all those people around the world who are suffering. And there are many people suffering because of their religious faith.”